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Southern Highland Swing


2 Days Mountain Biking

From £165

  • Woodland singletrack.

  • Rumbling rivers and babbling brooks.

  • Still and tranquil lochs.

  • Deep dark forests.

  • Big mountains but bigger skies.

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Southern Highland Swing

This is a short but exceptionally sweet tour packed with two days of wonderful riding. With a chance to add a third days riding if there’s time. You’ll pack in the miles as well as bags of stunning scenery and fine fresh air. From serene woodland trails and riverside paths to a high windswept muir (moor) on the flanks of mountains you’ll experience wonderful landscapes and possibly glimpse red squirrels, red deer, golden eagles, osprey, row deer, oyster catchers, peregrine falcons, pine martins and more. Add 14 miles / 23 km if riding on third day. NB All our tours can be shortened or extended to suit. Just call or email our office.

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Itinerary

  • Glasgow to Callander 41 mi / 66 km

    Starting in the heart of the city you wind your way along traffic free paths, through parks and along riverbanks before reaching the suburbs. Once beyond the city limits you’ll ride north along another river bank but now on pleasant woodland paths before emerging with an impressive vista of the southern highlands. An exhilarating descent then sends you whizzing toward the Queen Elizabeth Forest and the Menteith Hills. The day ends with a fast and fun descent and some pleasurable lochside cycling.

  • Callander to Crieff 25 mi / 40 km

    The morning light brings the first climb into sharp focus. Soon you’re rolling effortlessly over undulating moorland track while skirting the base of some of Scotland’s most southerly Munros (mountains over 3000 ft). After a spot of lunch in a delightful highland village you’re treated to some gentle riverside riding – just to allow your food to digest – before some fabulous fast flowing singletrack through deciduous woodlands takes you into Crieff.

  • Crieff to Gleneagles (optional) 15 mi / 24 km

    You have the option to end the tour in Crieff or cycle a further fifteen miles to Gleneagles Station.

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Destinations

  • Glasgow

    Glasgow is Scotland's largest and most vibrant city. Yes Edinburgh has its festival and Hogmanay celebrations but Glasgow is a buzz all year round. It's reputed to be the UK's best shopping destination outside London with both high street retailers and haute couture fashion houses found side by side on the city's bustling Buchanan Street. If you like a song and dance then Glasgow's lively music scene will set you rocking with tremendous venues putting on some of the biggest and best names in the business. Theatre business is big here too with something worthwhile to see most nights. And if you're happy with just a quiet drink and a tasty meal you'll be pleased to hear there's a great selection of good restaurants and atmospheric bars.

  • Milngavie

    Milngavie (pronounced Mill-guy) is an affluent suburb situated in the north of Glasgow. It's 15 minutes away from Glasgow airport by car and 25 minutes by train from the city centre. Although not a holiday destination in itself considerable numbers of tourists, probably more than 30,000, pass through the town each year. This is because Milngavie is the traditional starting point for one of the world's most famous long distance walking trails - the West Highland Way. Within a 5 minute stroll from the train station lie the gates to this fabulous route. Walkers, cyclists and runners gather here to be photographed before undertaking their great journey.

  • Killearn

    Although our route barely glances the outskirts of Killearn we felt given its historic significance as the birthplace of George Buchanan that it was worth mentioning. The attractive village sits on the edge of a moor overlooking the confluence of the Blane and Endrick Valleys. A one-time farming village today it serves as an affluent satellite of Glasgow. It’s most famous son George Buchanan, born in 1506, was a prominent Scottish scholar and tutor to King James VI of Scotland who later became King James I of England and Ireland also. James was the first monarch to rule all three kingdoms simultaneously. He also ruled over Wales at this time but technically Wales is a principality. A 31metre tall monument has been erected in Buchanan’s name near the village Kirk and can be seen from miles around. A detour into the village would add roughly two miles or just over three kilometres to your journey.

  • Drymen

    Drymen is a relatively small village nestling just a few miles from the shores of Loch Lomond. It sits at a crossroads of the ways. The West Highland Way passes through the village while the Rob Roy Way starts here and the John Muir Way passes by only a couple of miles away. Despite it's size, Drymen is a lively wee place, supporting two hotels and numerous bed and breakfasts. With friendly bars and good quality eateries it's a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike.

  • Aberfoyle

    Aberfoyle, often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Trossachs’, is a pleasant and peaceful village situated at the foot of the Menteith Hills and amidst the vast Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The hills are particularly significant because they mark the line of the Highland Boundary Fault which runs through the island of Arran on the west coast to Stonehaven on the east coast and separates the Highlands from the Lowlands. Another prominent feature of the village is the River Forth that runs through its centre before winding its way across a vast flood plain to Stirling and then Edinburgh where it enters the North Sea. The village is busy through the day with day trippers but generally quiet later in the evening. However, there are still enough customers buzzing about to ensure the couple of inns providing food and one or two café/restaurants remain open.

  • Callander

    Like Aberfoyle just over the hill, Callander straddles the divide between the Highlands and Lowlands. It sits just beyond the eastern tip of the beautiful Loch Venachar at the foot of the forested Menteith Hills. It’s the largest village in the Trossachs and supports numerous hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and bars and is busy most of the year round. The centre of Callander is distinctly Victorian with many of that eras more substantial villas now operating as small hotels or guesthouses. However, many remain as family homes in this relatively affluent town. The River Teith runs right through the villages’ heart providing a particularly pleasant outlook for well placed residences on its banks and sport in the form of fishing and canoeing. Another great site from the village is that of Ben Ledi, a magnificent looking hill and one reasonably easy as well as pleasing to climb.

  • Comrie

    The conservation village of Comrie sits at the confluence of three rivers in what is an indescribably idyllic setting. Famed for its beauty the settlements history can be traced back to Pictish times with much visible evidence of standing stones in the area. And in 79AD the Romans built a fort here in order to take advantage of the locations strategic position on the edge of the Highlands. Comrie is also of great geological interest due to the fact that it sits along the Highland Boundary Fault. And as a result is the most seismically active place in the United Kingdom recording more tremors than anywhere else. Now an attraction it is possible to visit Earthquake House one of the world’s earliest earthquake monitoring centres. On the outskirts of Comrie there is an old military camp, Cultybraggan, which was used during the Second World War to house prisoners of war. The site is now owned by the community trust and is used for various things including growing vegetables. Round and about Comrie there are some great cycling and walking opportunities including a good choice of riverside walks, woodland walks and hill walks and both on and off-road cycling routes. Comrie Croft just over two miles away has its’ very own mountain bike trail and a short hop away Glen Lednock affords walkers access to Ben Chonzie.

  • Crieff

    Crieff is one of Scotland’s historic spa towns and like near neighbour Comrie sits at the confluence of productive rivers while straddling the Highland Boundary Fault. I say productive rivers because one is currently utilised for whisky production and the other used to power local mills. An affluent market town Crieff first grew rich as a cattle trading centre during the fourteen hundreds and later became a prominent player in the weaving industry. Nowadays it’s a popular tourist destination offering visitors a huge choice of things to do. Set amidst some very attractive countryside Crieff sits on the boundary between the Lowlands and Highlands. These two contrasting landscapes greatly complement each other while offering outdoor adventurers everything from delightful riverside walks to full on mountaineering. There are two golf courses, a high ropes course, a distillery, quiet back roads ideal for road cycling and some excellent single-track for mountain bikers. Macrosty Park is great for young kids and there’s also a good adventure play area at Crieff Hydro.

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Hotel, B&B, Inn or Guesthouse

We normally arrange 3 or 4 star bed and breakfast accommodation in guesthouses and hotels. We can also arrange for 5 star accommodation on request depending on availability. Some of the accommodation we offer has no official rating but we are satisfied that it meets a suitable standard of comfort and that the hosts deliver acceptable levels of service. We routinely inspect all accommodation offered and all accommodation must be approved by us before we book it for our clients.

In most cases rooms will have en suite facilities. On occasion two rooms may share the same facilities. That is two rooms accommodated by members of the same party.

Where possible we seek accommodation with access to leisure facilities such as a swimming pool. These may be hotel or municipal facilities.

Below is a sample list of accommodation options for this tour.

  • The Knowe - Callander

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    Built at the beginning of the twentieth century and enjoying many original Victorian and Edwardian features. The Knowe has been a Guest House for over 25 years providing superb Guest House accommodation to numerous travellers from all over the world.

     

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We've got it covered

Included

  • Cycle Hire - high quality serviced hybrid, mountain bike or adventurer (see notes).

  • En route support (see notes).

  • Accommodation in selected hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts or guesthouses.

  • Specified meals (See notes).

  • Detailed route descriptions and colour coded maps.

  • Specified transportation.

  • Daily baggage transfer of one bag (suitcase / backpack) per person.

Not Included

  • Travel Insurance.

  • Travel not specified - airport transfers etc.

  • Electric Cycle Hire.


NOTES:

  1. All breakfasts are included as standard. Lunch and dinner are not included unless otherwise specified. Packed lunches are available from most accommodation providers on request. Please ask the accommodation host when on tour. Prices and offerings vary between establishments.
  2. All accommodation providers will cater for clients with special dietry requirements. You must inform us before travelling if any travellers have specific dietry needs in order for accommodation hosts to make appropriate arrangements. We cannot guarantee special dietry needs will be catered for unless we are forewarned.
  3. Most of our routes pass by several eateries so it is usually possible to pick and choose where to have lunch each day. However, on routes (days) where you will not pass an eaterie we advise that you order a packed lunch from your accommodation host. All of our accommodation hosts offer packed lunches. Charges vary from establishment to establishment.
  4. We provide you with a good quality bicycle that is regularly serviced.
  5. If you encounter a technical issue with the bike provided we will either fix it or replace it with another suitable bike. Our support staff can be summoned to your aid en route.

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The best time to go

This tour is available from March to October. The quietist times being between March and May and September and October with July and August being the two busiest months.

Spring
In late March the days grow longer and warmer and the first shoots of young life begin to appear. The fields are full of newborn lambs and wildlife everywhere is once again on the move. The mountain tops are often still capped with snow and even at low levels the last gasps of winter may still be felt with a slim chance for late snow showers. By April spring is in full flow and temperatures can soar into the late teens Celsius although a maximum of around thirteen degrees Celsius is more in line with the norm. Trees have regained all their foliage and nest building is in full swing. The chatter of busy birds can be heard everywhere.

Summer
By May and June the days are long and bright. Around the time of the summer solstice in mid June it's often possible to read by natural light until past 11pm at night. And out on the hill the red deer are fawning. By July and August days are at their warmest with average temperatures around nineteen degrees Celsius although temperatures have been known to climb into the late twenties and even as high as thirty. Most destinations are buzzing with activity during July and August as these are the traditional school summer holiday months. September in Scotland is quieter out on the trail and temperatures generally remain in the high teens. In the rivers salmon can be seen running as they strive to swim up river to their spawning grounds.

Autumn
October is one of the most atmospheric months to be out and about in the wilds of Scotland. The trees gradually turn from green to many shades of brown and orange and when they finally fall they form huge billowy piles on the ground, a couple of feet deep in places. Around the middle of the month the red deer rut gets under way and the bellowing stags can be heard for miles around.

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Call or email now to make a booking or enquire about your options

Please note our office is closed from Friday 29 June 2018 to Sunday 15 July 2018. Where possible we will respond to email enquiries.

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In Brief

  • 1 Nights

  • Challenging

  • Mountain Biking

  • Suitable for: Improver

  • From £165 Per Person

  • 66 mi / 106 km

  • From: Milngavie

  • To: Crieff

  • Available: March to October

  • Min. Age: 15

  • Suit Tagalong:

  • Suit Trailer: